There is a very alarming article on Dr. Mercola’s website about the advertising we all see for pharmaceutical drugs and its very dangerous effect on our health. I recommend you read it – especially if you have been told by your doctor that there is a drug you must take for the rest of your life.
Since the drug companies began marketing directly to consumers, prescription drug use has skyrocketed. It has always amazed me that anyone could watch one of those commercials singing the praises of some pharmaceutical drug, and then hear the list of side effects – often worse than the original condition – and still be willing to take the drug!
The frightening thing is that six types of drugs are “marketed for perpetuity,” meaning they’re intended to be taken for life. They are: ADHD and other similar drugs for children, antidepressants, statins, hormone replacement therapy, proton pump inhibitors (drugs for reflux and indigestion) and asthma control meds.
When my son had a perforated ulcer, the doctor sent him home with a prescription for a proton pump inhibitor and 11 refills and told him to eat whatever he wanted as long as he stayed on the meds essentially forever. (By the way he didn’t. He used natural supplements and made some changes to his diet instead and an endoscopy revealed a perfectly healed stomach.)
Almost every week the government tries to limit our ability to buy and use natural supplements – which have an excellent safety record. But these drugs are encouraged. I wonder why? Do you think it could be the fact that they are BIG business?
Have you ever been told you should be taking one of these drugs for the rest of your life? What did you do?
I was once told I would need to take a particular asthma medicine for life. Although I know how scary it can be not to be able to catch your breathe, the thought of taking it forever made me cringe. The cost alone would make you balk. I really dislike taking medications because of all the other side effects they bring along, treating one thing and creating other issues.
What I started to pay attention to triggers and seasons where I noticed it would typically worse. At those times, if needed, I would use it to help get it under control and again only short term. Today I rarely have to use the medication and I’ve also learned to manage stress better which is a big factor in asthma control.
That’s great Cindy. Most people don’t take the time or make the effort to pay attention to what might be triggering the need for the medication and that is very important in being able to manage a condition like asthma.
Two stories: 1. I own a small trucking company. I have to meet the federal DOT health requirements, meaning I take a physical every two years. One year, I was having trouble with cough, allergies, etc. Albuterol was prescribed. Having other test done, my blood pressure was elevated. 152/90, when it is normally 118/76. I would have failed my DOT physical, impacting my career and company. I researched the side effects, and saw that one of them was hyper-tension. I immediately stopped taking it, took my physical 9 days later, and passed with no problem.
I also have GERD. I know that I need to work on diet, exercise, etc. It is hard to motivate myself, but I am getting there. I was prescribes at PPI, and the side effects were terrible. It made me sleepy, I had bruises that would not heal, upset stomach, yellow skin, head ache, all which are side effects of omeprazole, found in many of the PPI products that are pushed on us daily.
So, my suggestion is to do your homework. We do not need to make the drug companies rich by taking a chemical that really is a poison.
Thanks for advancing this topic.
Steve your stories perfectly illustrate my point – thanks so much for sharing. When the doctor prescribed the PPIs for my 26 year old son we decided to use natural supplements to protect his stomach and also to have him change some of the things he ate. The doctor said there is no change necessary in diet – but he paid attention and realized too much coffee and certain other foods bothered him so he either avoided or limited them. DGL licorice did as good a job or better than the PPIs without the awful side effects. Thanks again for your comments.
Ann, I can’t speak from personal experience as I’ve never been on any medications other than an antibiotics for rare infection. What really bothers me and concerns my wife and I is that our daughter has been on a PPI off and on for Acid Reflux since she was 1 yr old. We’ve had her allergy tested (blood and skin) and took her off the supposed trigger foods and it just seems to come and go. I REALLY dislike giving a 6 year old child an adults dosage (YES!!) of a PPI. Especially when it doesn’t seem to work. We occasionally take her off it (against the doctors recommendation) for a season to see if there is any improvement, but it seems to come right back.
They did an endoscopy 2 years ago and she had a white blood cell count of 50 in her esophagus (supposed to be zero), so they diagnosed her with EE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis) – which is a fairly new diagnosis, and guess what – they don’t know what causes it, so they just put you on the meds.
I really would like to get my girl off this junk because who knows the long term effects on a young child.
Oh Michael – I can so understand your feeling about having to give your child a med – and an adult one at that. My Beyond Organic Team Leader had a testimonial from a mom whose son had Crohn’s – I will find out more and get back to you. I agree wholeheartedly – I would NOT want my child on those PPIs knowing the long term effects. And it really upsets me that when they don’t know what the root cause is, they just prescribe some drug. I wonder if that’s what the doctor would do if it were his child?
We just got a new GI doctor, who does have a teenager with acid reflux and he said that she has in fact been on reflux meds for years. I guess he at least practices what he preaches.
Actually that’s a bit frightening to me!
Haaha hmmmmm… I think it does have to do that it is a big business!! 🙂
The emotional pull that these companies use is so powerful too! They draw people in declaring using emotional ties and make people believe that this drug will be the answer to all their problems.
I think we as humans always want a quick fix for everything so we buy into it… but it still makes me mad!
You know I agree with you Claudia. I find it frustrating and sad that people would rather take a drug with horrendous side effects than make some changes that will take some effort but in the long run will resolve or greatly improve their problem.
Like you pointed out, I have also been amused (though disturbed) at the list of side effects listed in drug commercials. You might solve the one problem, but you cause five more!
That doesn’t really seem like a good plan long term — unless you’re in the drug business. 😉